LIVE: White Sox trail Price, Rays 4-0

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LIVE: White Sox trail Price, Rays 4-0

Monday, April 18, 2011Posted: 11:50 Am
Associated Press

It has been just over a week since the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox last met, but much has changed for both teams.

The Rays look to win for the sixth time in seven games and hand the slumping White Sox their sixth defeat in seven contests when they open a four-game series at Tropicana Field on Monday night.

Chicago (7-8) took three of four from Tampa Bay (6-9) at U.S. Cellular Field from April 7-10, part of a 6-3 start to the season. The White Sox hit .295 while plating 22 runs, as Paul Konerko went 7 for 14 with a pair of solo homers and four RBIs.

Chicago's offense hasn't had much success since the Rays left town, batting .212 and totaling 18 runs while dropping five of six.

"It seems like we were all hot at one time and now we're all slumping at the same time," designated hitter Adam Dunn said following Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. "We have to get back on track."

Dunn has been in the middle of the team's struggles, batting .105 with a homer and 11 strikeouts in 19 at-bats in five games since having his appendix removed.

"I don't feel bad. I feel fine, I just stink," Dunn said. "We're not in any panic mode. We know what we're capable of doing."

The Rays' record was 1-8 after their series against the White Sox, but they won five straight immediately after leaving Chicago, totaling 32 runs in those games. The winning streak ended Sunday with a 4-2 loss to Minnesota.

Johnny Damon was instrumental for the Rays, driving in the winning run in all five games of the streak while batting .348 with two homers and 10 total RBIs, but he left Sunday's game with a bruise on the tip of his left ring finger. He's listed as day-to-day.

"It's very sore," Damon said. "I wanted to try and tough out the game, but thought it was best if I came in and started icing it. At this point, I can't guarantee anything on whether or not I'll be in there (Monday). Time will tell."

Damon is batting .190 lifetime against Edwin Jackson (2-0, 2.89 ERA), Chicago's scheduled starter.

Jackson pitched brilliantly against the Rays on April 7, allowing one run and four hits while striking out a career-high 13 and walking one in eight innings of a 5-1 win. The right-hander, who pitched for Tampa Bay from 2006-08, has posted a 1.44 ERA while winning all three career starts against his former team.

Probable Tampa Bay starter David Price (1-2, 3.92) has had no such luck against Chicago.

Price, who opposed Jackson at U.S. Cellular Field less than two weeks ago, yielded three runs and nine hits in six innings. He has lost all four of his starts against the White Sox, with a 4.88 ERA.

Chicago center fielder Alex Rios has given Price the biggest problems. He doubled twice off Price earlier this month, and is 7 for 11 with two homers lifetime in their matchups.

Price, a 19-game winner last season, earned his first victory of 2011 on Tuesday, allowing two runs and five hits in 7 2-3 innings of 3-2 win at Boston. He finally got a little help, as his offense had failed backed him with any runs of support in his first two outings.

Following his gem against the Rays, Jackson was shaky versus Oakland on Tuesday. He allowed three runs and seven hits and needed 100 pitches to go 4 2-3 innings, although the White Sox eventually won 6-5 in 10.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The last White Sox rebuild: Bobby Howry remembers aftermath of '97 'White Flag' trade

The last White Sox rebuild: Bobby Howry remembers aftermath of '97 'White Flag' trade

Bobby Howry wasn't aware of the fact he was part of one of the more infamous transactions in White Sox history until a few years after it happened. 

In 1997, with the White Sox only 3 1/2 games behind the division-leading Cleveland Indians, general manager Ron Schueler pulled the trigger on a massive trade that left many around Chicago — including some in the White Sox clubhouse — scratching their heads. Heading to the San Francisco Giants was the team's best starting pitcher (left-hander Wilson Alvarez), a reliable rotation piece (Doug Drabek) and a closer coming off a 1996 All-Star appearance (Roberto Hernandez). In return, the White Sox acquired six minor leaguers: right-handers Howry, Lorenzo Barcelo, Keith Foulke, left-hander Ken Vining, shortstop Mike Caruso and outfielder Brian Manning. Only Foulke had major league experience, and it wasn't exactly good (an 8.26 ERA in 44 2/3 innings). 

Howry was largely oblivious to the shocking nature of the trade that brought him from the Giants to White Sox until, before the 1999 season, he was featured in a commercial that referenced the "White Flag trade."

"I don't even know if I knew it was called that before then," Howry recalled last weekend at the Sheraton Grand Chicago at Cubs Convention. 

The trade was a stark signal that youth would be emphasized on 35th and Shields. Both Alvarez and Hernandez were set to become free agents after the 1997 season, and the 40-year-old Darwin wasn't a long-term piece, either. With youngsters like Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Lee rising through the farm system, the move was made with an eye on the future and maximizing the return on players who weren't going to be long-term pieces. 

Sound familiar? 

It's hardly a perfect comparison, but when the White Sox traded Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox in December for four minor leaguers — headlined by top-100 prospects in Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech — it was the first rebuilding blockbuster trade the organization had made since the 1997 White Flag deal. Shortly after trading their staff ace at the 2016 Winter Meetings, the White Sox shipped Adam Eaton — their best position player — to the Washington Nationals for a package of prospects featuring two more highly-regarded youngsters in Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. 

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And there still could be more moves on the horizon, too, for Rick Hahn's White Sox (Jose Quintana has been the subject of persistent rumors since the Winter Meetings). But for those looking for an optimistic outlook of the White Sox rebuilding plans, it's worth noting that the club's last youth movement, to an extent, was successful.

Only Howry (3.74 ERA over 294 games) and Foulke (2.87 ERA, 100 saves over 346 games) became significant long-term pieces for the White Sox from those six players brought over in 1997. And it wasn't like Schueler dealt away any of the franchise's cornerstones — like Frank Thomas, Albert Belle and Robin Ventura — but with future starters in Lee, Ordonez and Chris Singleton on their way the White Sox were able to go young. A swap of promising youthful players (Mike Cameron for Paul Konerko) proved to be successful a year and a half later. 

And with a couple of shrewd moves — namely, dealing Jamie Navarro and John Snyder to the Milwaukee Brewers for Cal Eldred and Jose Valentin — the "Kids Can Play" White Sox stormed to an American League Central title in 2000. 

"It was great," Howry said of developing with so many young players in the late 1999's and 2000. "You come in and you feel a lot more comfortable when you got a lot of young guys and you're all coming up together and building together. It's not like you're walking into a primarily veteran clubhouse where you're kind of having to duck and hide all the time. We had a great group of guys and we built together over a couple of years, and putting that together was a lot of fun."

What sparked things in 2000, Howry said, was that ferocious brawl with the Detroit Tigers on April 22 in which 11 players were ejected (the fight left Foulke needing five stitches and former Tigers catcher/first baseman Robert Fick doused in beer). 

"About the time we had that fight with Detroit, that big brawl, all of a sudden after then we just seemed to kind of come together and everything started to click and it took off," Howry said. 

The White Sox went 80-81 in 1998 and slipped to 75-86 in 1999, but their 95-67 record in 2000 was the best in the league — though it only amounted to a three-game sweep at the hands of the wild-card winning Seattle Mariners. 

Still, the White Flag trade had a happy ending two and a half years later. While with the White Sox, Howry didn't feel pressure to perform under the circumstances with which he arrived, which probably helped those young players grow together into eventual division champions. 

"I was 23 years old," Howry said. "At 23 years old, I didn't really — I was just like, okay, I'm still playing, I got a place to play. I didn't really put a whole lot of thought into three veteran guys for six minor leaguers." 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Zack Collins discusses staying at catcher

White Sox Talk Podcast: Zack Collins discusses staying at catcher

White Sox 2016 first round pick Zack Collins joins the podcast to talk about his future with the White Sox, when he hopes to make the big leagues and the doubters who question whether he can be a major league catcher.   He discusses comparisons with Kyle Schwarber, his impressions of Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, why his dad took him to a Linkin Park concert when he was 6 years old and much more.